Thursday, 18 December 2008

More than a meeting place

“Small rural schools are much more than just meeting places to their local communities,” according to Cllr Eirwyn Williams. Cllr Williams, Plaid’s Education spokesperson on Carmarthenshire County Council, was responding to a report by a committee of the National Assembly. “They fulfil a much more important function than that, and are often right at the centre of community activity.”

In publishing the report of his committee, the Labour AM who chairs it had said that some campaigners were trying to keep schools open just so that communities had somewhere to meet, but Cllr Williams said that this was a very serious misrepresentation of the concerns of local communities and indicated that the Labour AM was out of touch with rural Wales.

However, there were some key points in the report which made a lot of sense, according to Cllr Williams. “The report makes it very clear that each school should be looked at entirely on its merits,” said Cllr Williams. “This is exactly the point that we as a Plaid group have been making in Carmarthenshire in recent months. The Labour/Independent Party coalition are following a centralising agenda driven by an overall central plan – they are neither considering nor responding to local needs and concerns, and they are certainly not considering each school on its merits.

“In the light of this latest report, the council should think again.”

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